Chester and Bruce seek to bring end to Red Devils hoodoo

Hull City's James Chester
Hull City's James Chester
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JAMES CHESTER insists “records are there to be broken” as Hull City and Steve Bruce look to end their Manchester United hoodoos.

The Tigers host the Red Devils on Sunday knowing that only victory will be enough to keep alive any hopes of remaining in the Premier League.

City, if they do collect all three points against Louis van Gaal’s men, also need a favour from elsewhere with Newcastle also in danger of the drop ahead of taking on West Ham United at St James’ Park.

If Steve Bruce’s men do win then the Magpies will need to do the same to prevent the East Riding club leap-frogging them at the death.

With Sunderland now safe following last night’s 0-0 draw at Arsenal, the final day of 2014-15 is down to a two-horse battle to avoid the drop.

For Hull, of course, the priority is taking all three points. To do so, they will have to end not only a 10-game losing run against United that stretches back to 1974 and Bruce’s dreadful record against the club he captained to glory.

In 21 previous meetings as manager of Hull, Sunderland, Wigan and Birmingham, the 54-year-old has lost 17 and drawn four. Hardly good omens for the Tigers but Chester, also a former Old Trafford defender, is adamant that the past will count for little on Sunday.

“We haven’t got a great record recently,” said the 26-year-old to The Yorkshire Post. “But records are there to be broken.

“I was told in the press conference before Spurs (last weekend) that we hadn’t won a Premier League game in May, either. That may be true but we hadn’t won in April before facing Palace and Liverpool recently. And we beat both of them.

“So, these things can change. If we can kill two birds with one stone and end those records then we will be happy.”

As May got under way, Hull looked in decent shape. Those back-to-back wins over Palace and Liverpool had nudged Bruce’s men up to 15th and four points clear of the bottom three.

Three defeats later, however, and City are odds-on to go down. It is a dramatic change but not one, Chester insists, that is reversible. “To come off the pitch at Spurs and find out Newcastle had lost was a big lift,” said the defender, who joined the Tigers from Old Trafford in 2011.

“Our intention going into the game had been to make sure we were still alive on the final day. I did think we were in a good position to take something from the game but it wasn’t to be. The main thing, though, is we can still get out of trouble thanks to results going our way for once.”

Newcastle are on a shocking run, the last 10 games having yielded a solitary point from a 1-1 draw at home to West Brom.

City haven’t been overly impressive themselves but an eight-point haul from the last 10 means their form is, at least, better than that of John Carver’s men.

Chester added: “If we win, they have to win, too. Our goal difference has been a bonus for a while, it is better than almost everyone down there with us. And it might just save us on the last day. Newcastle are on a difficult run.

“Anything can happen. We believe we can win. Manchester United is a tough game but if we play like we did for most of the Spurs game then we can get a result at home.”

Chester joined the Old Trafford youth set-up at the tender age of eight. He went on to become captain of the reserve team but made just one appearance for the seniors, .

After spells on loan in the lower divisions, Chester moved permanently to the KC but he hasn’t forgotten the ethos of his old club.

“United is a professional club,” he added. “Just look at the trophies they have won over the past 25 years.

“That comes from the attitude of the players. But their away form isn’t as great as it could be, and certainly not as good as in recent years.”